Andres Magaña Ortiz is a 43-year old Mexican immigrant who, in his 30 years of living in the United States, worked his way up from a fruit picker to owner of a 20-acre coffee farm and manager of about 150 acres of land for other farmers who can’t manage on their own. He is married to an American citizen and his three children were born in the United States.
In 2011 Magaña was told he was being deported to Mexico, a country he had not lived in since he was 15 years old. In 2014, Magaña was granted the right to stay in the country while he pursued legal status. When he filed for a second stay of removal this past November, he was denied without explanation. In March, the Department of Homeland Security ordered him to leave the country and in early July, Magaña was deported and will not be allowed into the country for 10 years.
By all accounts, Magaña has been a credit to his community. He even helped the US Department of Agriculture by giving it free access to his farm to conduct a five-year study on crop pests. Hawaii’s congressional delegation has consequently been fighting the deportation and sent a joint letter to then–Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly back in June.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard also introduced a bill to make Magaña Ortiz eligible for legal, permanent residency in the United States.
The lawyer for the Kona coffee farmer, who was deported despite being called a “pillar of his community” by a US judge, has filed an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals on the grounds that he was legitimately married to a US citizen and should not have been deported.
His case is strong, despite the inhospitable climate. The outpouring of support for Magaña Ortiz began when an appeals judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which reviews cases from Hawaii, issued a forceful opinion calling attention to the “inhumane” circumstances in the case.
“President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the ‘bad hombres,’” wrote US Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt. “The government’s decision to remove Magaña Ortiz shows that even the good hombres are not safe.”
Until and unless the appeal succeeds, the Ortiz family is struggling to keep their father’s business alive and pay Victoria Magana’s college education. They are hoping that someday they can be reunited in the United States, the country that they consider home.
Please join the campaign by signing your name and imploring your friends and family to do the same. Together we can protect not just the Ortiz family, but all families in our country, from the threat of deportation.